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  1. #1

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    Default SDA's & Home Theater

    Is anyone having success with their SDA's in home theater mode? While my SDA-2B TL's are phenomenal for 2 channel music, I feel like they aren't cutting it for home theater especially sitting next to my brothers RT-600i's.

    This doesn't bother me at all because of how much joy they bring musically, I'm just curious to see if anybody is having great success with them in the HT department.

  2. #2

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    I'm not a big fan of sda's in my HT setup either. I think there's better out there. What else have you tried for HT use?

  3. #3

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    I would keep my RTiA9's over the SDA's for HT anyday of the week..
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  4. #4

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    I have always used SDA's for HT but mainly because I don't want to have two separate sets of speakers in the same spot.

    They sound good but I'm sure there are better options out there for HT.

    The RTiA9's TFLF suggested look like a nice option.

  5. #5

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    When I was watching one of the Harry Potter movies through my bro's RT-600i's, I was floored at how exciting they were, especially in comparison to my SDA's. What I was surprised by was how good the RT-600i's were with music too. Very exciting and crisp sound.

    I know this has probably been covered extensively, but why are their good "home theater" speakers and then good "music" speakers? What is the gap between the two?

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    ...why are their good "home theater" speakers and then good "music" speakers? What is the gap between the two?
    My take:

    -Good music speakers present information as neutrally and accurately as possible. The name of the game is subtlety, finesse, delicacy, and sophistication.

    -Good home theater speakers impart "fun" or exciting tonal characteristics like unnaturally bright highs and powerful lows; think glass shattering or explosions. The name of the game is color, dynamics, and assertion.

    Good HT speakers are like the sexy girl with a scandalous outfit you meet at the bar at 3AM, take home, and preform unmentionable acts of hedonism with, the likes of which make Ron Jeremy blush.

    Good music speakers are like the conservatively dressed, understatedly beautiful, intelligent, humble girl that doesn't draw attention to herself, but you want to introduce to your family and make her your wife.


    There's a time and a place for both.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    My take:

    -Good music speakers present information as neutrally and accurately as possible. The name of the game is subtlety, finesse, delicacy, and sophistication.

    -Good home theater speakers impart "fun" or exciting tonal characteristics like unnaturally bright highs and powerful lows; think glass shattering or explosions. The name of the game is color, dynamics, and assertion.

    Good HT speakers are like the sexy girl with a scandalous outfit you meet at the bar at 3AM, take home, and preform unmentionable acts of hedonism with, the likes of which make Ron Jeremy blush.

    Good music speakers are like the conservatively dressed, understatedly beautiful, intelligent, humble girl that doesn't draw attention to herself, but you want to introduce to your family and make her your wife.


    There's a time and a place for both.

    HT or not I wouldn't want unnatural bright highs.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    My take:

    -Good music speakers present information as neutrally and accurately as possible. The name of the game is subtlety, finesse, delicacy, and sophistication.

    -Good home theater speakers impart "fun" or exciting tonal characteristics like unnaturally bright highs and powerful lows; think glass shattering or explosions. The name of the game is color, dynamics, and assertion.

    Good HT speakers are like the sexy girl with a scandalous outfit you meet at the bar at 3AM, take home, and preform unmentionable acts of hedonism with, the likes of which make Ron Jeremy blush.

    Good music speakers are like the conservatively dressed, understatedly beautiful, intelligent, humble girl that doesn't draw attention to herself, but you want to introduce to your family and make her your wife.


    There's a time and a place for both.
    Nice analogy!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    Is anyone having success with their SDA's in home theater mode?
    I've used SDA-2B's in multiple Home Theater settings and I love them.

    The key here is to have a matching center channel. There are modern centers, like the CS-350LS, that do a decent job, but, for me, the front soundstage didn't come together until I actually used a matching vintage center. Matching surrounds help too, but aren't as important.

    The best center I've found is a Monitor 10. It's less than convenient size-wise, but damn it sounds good! It handles lows great, and the 2 mid woofers give it enough width to integrate really well. I'm currently using a Monitor 5 center for placement reasons, but I still think it does a better job than my cs-350ls.

    My favorite Vintage Polk HT setup was SDA-2B's as fronts, a Monitor 10B as the center, RTA-12C's as sides, and Monitor 5B's as rears. That was in a large space, so I needed the 7.1.

    Your 2B's are tl'd, so you'll be more limited in finding a matching center. A RTA-11tl would be awesome, but, again, placement will be difficult.
    Last edited by falconcry72; 08-27-2011 at 08:53 PM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  10. #10

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    I will add that I compared the vintage SDA-based system listed above to a more modern system in the same space and on all the same gear etc.

    The modern setup consisted of RT-16 fronts, a CS-350LS center, RT-7 sides, and RT-3 rears. I really liked that setup too, and I still regret selling those speakers. There were things about it that I definitely liked better than the vintage setup.

    The two setups sounded very different from each other, and I really liked both of them for different reasons.

    The point here is that there is no better, just different. You have to decide with your own ears.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Your 2B's are tl'd, so you'll be more limited in finding a matching center. A RTA-11tl would be awesome, but, again, placement will be difficult.
    Why not a TL'ed CRS+?
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

    SDA Recommended Playlist https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FZCRkdxYXVNanc

    Open for editing.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    Why not a TL'ed CRS+?
    That can be perfect; you just have to rewire the drivers so that the normally dimensional one is playing the same info as the stereo one, but if you were TL'ing them anyway, then rewiring them would be the least of your worries.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  13. #13

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    I will also add that with conventional non-SDA speakers you have a lot more options in terms of placement. You can go super wide and toe them in, which can be cool for HT, but not possible with SDA's. Depending on your room, you may have furniture and stuff to work around. SDA's generally need to be in one spot; other HT speakers can work in many different spots, but if you can get the SDA's in the right spot, I dig them for movies.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  14. #14

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    This just gave me an idea. My next apartment is not big enough for multiple systems and since I will be setting up my SDA 2a's I will have monitor 10's that wont have a place of their own... May as well use one as a center, they both have 194's in them as well.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by chandler9a View Post
    ... I will have monitor 10's that wont have a place of their own... May as well use one as a center, they both have 194's in them as well....
    Cool, man! Let us know how it works out.

    The midrange on all the vintage Polks is so textural and realistic sounding; that's why I love them as center channels... great for dialogue. On some content, the center can get some serious bass... with a Monitor 10 as your center there is no need to set it as small, that's for sure.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  16. #16

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    Finally got my RTA12C's up and running so I'm able to use my Mon 7 as a center speaker and it works wonderfully. Dialog is very clean and natural.
    Display: Sony 42" LCD
    Sources: Harman Kardon DVD-27,
    Panasonic DMP-BDT110 blu ray player
    AVR: Sony STR-DA2400ES
    Amp: Kenwood KM-894 x 2(fronts and surrounds)
    Fronts: Polk SDA2
    Center: Polk Monitor 7C
    Surrounds: Polk Monitor 7C
    Subwoofer: SVS PB10-ISD

  17. #17

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    Well I can't wait to try this. I am mainly a 2 channel music guy but I love movies.
    The Monitor 10 will have a dedicated amp...NAD 2100 bridged, this should be enough.

    I will have to redesign the entertainment stand however.

  18. #18

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    I have also tried using my SDA's in my HT set up but did not like the effects very good. Sonically the speakers were very pleasing with very good detail as they normally have in stereo but they did not allow placement of surround sound effects nearly as good as any of the following. AR5's, DCM TF600's, DCM TF1000's, DCM TFv8.0's, Advent heritage. Klipsch KG-4's, or even my small Polk 5jr's. My favorites for HT are the TFv8.0's and TF 600's for the mains. These have a very focused sound but still have a nice wide presence, I think due to the additional tweeters mounted on the rear corners. Though these do sound great on music as well they are no where near the SDA's for 2 channel listening.

  19. #19

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    I dismantled my HD 7 channel system and speakers and replaced it with a 2 channel amp and SDA 1C's. Surprisingly, I do not really miss the surround sound while watching tv and movies.
    I got static in my head
    The reflected sound of everything

  20. #20

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    I did 2b's in a HT setup and it was good as long as I didn't have a center. Its real hard to get a Timbre match for those guys imho.

    I liked it until I got something dedicated to HT and brought the 2B's back into the 2ch Man Cave.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    Is anyone having success with their SDA's in home theater mode?
    Yep, I can rattle the windows and hear things all around me. A door slammed (in the background) in the movie was watching and I damn near jumped a foot off teh couch thinking it was my backdoor.

    They are great for HT.

    H9

    P.s. I only use the 1C's in 2.0 mode
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  22. #22

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    I run SDA-2B's in my H/T and they work for me!
    Romans 1:16

  23. #23

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    I'm using the SRS's right now for HT. While no they are not the same as the A9's I don't mind them. They are not as bright as the A9's and blend pretty well into my HT.

    When I move and get more room I'm more likely to return the A9's to the HT and just have a SRS 2 channel as I like them better for that application.
    2 Channel-
    Soundlab M3PX
    BAT VK-31
    Wyred SX1000 monos
    Esoteric DV50
    Dynavector p75 modded phono stage
    Rega P25 modded-Denon 103R Cart
    Squeezebox Touch
    Modded Music Hall DAC Burson op amps
    Richard Grey 600S
    MIT Shotgun IC's and SC

  24. #24

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    I was using my 1.2TL's just for music in the basement. I setup a TV down there and am using them on their own for watching movies and TV occasionally and they are exceptional on their own with 5.1 mixing down to 2.0 using the receiver (Onkyo) I have pre-ing the Rotel RB-1090 I have powering them. I have a pair of Monitor 4's for rears but never felt the need to set them up as the SDA's seem to do well on their own. Just my opinion, not a true 5.1 setup, but I can honestly say they do a decent job!
    2 Channel Basement Setup:
    PC With M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 Card
    Rotel RC-1070
    Rotel RB-1090
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL (1991) w/RD0-198 Tweeters.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe08867 View Post
    I did 2b's in a HT setup and it was good as long as I didn't have a center. Its real hard to get a Timbre match for those guys imho.
    The key here is to have a matching center channel. There are modern centers, like the CS-350LS, that do a decent job, but, for me, the front soundstage didn't come together until I actually used a matching vintage center. Matching surrounds help too, but aren't as important.

    The best center I've found is a Monitor 10. It's less than convenient size-wise, but damn it sounds good! It handles lows great, and the 2 mid woofers give it enough width to integrate really well. I'm currently using a Monitor 5 center for placement reasons, but I still think it does a better job than my cs-350ls.
    ....
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    ....
    I used two monitor 5jr's at one point. One above the TV and one under. It worked quite well. I had them placed on there sides to help with the WAF.

    I still prefered no center because the SDA covered the center so well and with the added effect of a dedicated center the soundstage got to in the face for me. Great for dialog but effects lost some luster.

    I could see how a Monitor 10 would be quite good. Considering the driver counts are identical and the setups are similar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe08867 View Post

    I still prefered no center because the SDA covered the center so well and with the added effect of a dedicated center the soundstage got to in the face for me. Great for dialog but effects lost some luster.
    I agree that SDA's can sound really great without a center.

    Thinking back, there were definitely things I liked about running my setup with no center more than with a center, even with the Monitor 10's.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  28. #28

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    At one time I have Monitor 5's center and surrounds, the front left and right were 3.1's.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  29. #29

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    i used mt 2.3 TLs for some HT use......

    no issues here.
    mole'

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    My 1C's when run in 2.0 have a great center image, dialog is clear and I have no issues with not having a center. Explosions, or anything with lots of low frequency actually shake the house. I get just enough sounds around me with the SDA that it's enjoyable and doesn't ever sound 2 dimensional. For me, since I don't have a dedicated HT room at the moment, it works very well.

    But then I am not a harcore HT enthusiast either so I'm willing to compromise at this point. I'm sure once I get a proper HT room with an HT based system I'll feel differently. But for now, I want for nothing when watching movies or Netflix shows or Palladia shows, etc.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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